Should all Seattle street cops be required to carry Tasers?

SEATTLE -- Family members of Charleena Lyles, the woman killed by Seattle police, say they still have a lot of unanswered questions after meeting with the police chief and the mayor.

Family members believe police used unnecessary deadly force against Lyles, who police say came after officers with a knife.

On Friday, the sentiment outside Lyles' apartment is one of distrust and anger toward Seattle police.

Lyles called 911 to report a burglary but police say in the middle of gathering information, the 30-year-old came after officers with a knife. Family members believe it was a psychotic episode.

“If she had a knife, you could have knocked it out of her hand,” Monika Williams said.

Family members also say the officers should have used a stun gun on Lyles and now they've hired attorneys, saying race played a part in her death. Lyles was black and the two officers are white.

“We don’t just shoot somebody because they are black or any other race for that matter,” King County Sheriff John Urquhart said.

Urquhart is not involved in Lyles’ case but he's weighing in about the use of Tasers.

“There is a time when a Taser is very very valuable, it's better than a night stick because you don’t have to get so close,” Urquhart said.

All street deputies in the sheriff’s office are required to carry Tasers and Mace on their belts as non-lethal tools. Many Seattle police officers carry Tasers but it's not mandatory. So the question is should it be?

"I am sure Seattle now will decide should we equip all our deputies with Tasers,” Urquhart said.

Urquhart says the decision is only SPD's to make.

But even if Seattle police were to change its policies, sometimes Urquhart says Tasers are either not effective nor the answer in moments of real danger to officers.

“We don’t know if a Taser would have worked in the Seattle shooting either. We can’t jump to that conclusion, wait for all the information, don’t rush to judgment,” Urquhart said.

Urquhart says he understands the concerns and the emotion from many in the public. He also says the case is emotionally hard for the law enforcement community but he says it’s important that the case is dissected before any assumptions are made.

Several Seattle City Council members will hold a town hall-style forum to talk about Lyles' case. The meeting is at UW’s Kane Hall on Tuesday at 6 p.m. It is open to the public.